Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Regarding Annie (and giving hope to mom's with young daughters who don't always get along)

Sisters. They can be so many things. And given the fact that these relationships are founded in infancy (and all the obnoxious years of childhood and adolescence) they don't always get off to the greatest start. Somehow, children often fail to see the "potential" behind their siblings behavioral characteristics, and mistake these qualities as "annoying." I was guilty as this as a child, and now I have an opportunity to make up for my lack of foresight in a small way.

So here it is - a big plug for my little sister Ms. Regarding Annie, on behalf of her help-me-see-my-hubby fundraiser.

In case any of you missed the memo - or haven't discovered her blog yet - her husband is currently across the country at "spy camp", training for his new job.

He's been there since July, and won't be home until December.

She has three kids five and under.

She deserves a little support and sympathy.

But I'm worried that if people feel like they don't know her (or anything about her) they won't feel compelled to buy one of her Stupid Twilight T-Shirts. So I've decided to give you all a little history.

She was born bald, red, and big (over nine pounds) and with a good set of lungs. Since I was only two at the time, I don't actually remember hearing her cry, but the volume potential of her voice had to have started at birth. I'm sure of it.

Somewhere around age three (okay, it may have been a little sooner) she finally grew hair. Although I never would have admitted it at the time (or for over a decade later) her platinum curls were pretty darn cute. She truly was "the little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead." For those of you not familiar with this rhyme, it goes on to say "and when she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid." I remember repeating this rhyme often as a child - we were sure whoever wrote it knew Annie.

One Christmas she had chicken pox AND scarlet fever at the same time. I spent a lot of my childhood being irritated with Annie just because she existed (totally not fair, and I take it all back), but that Christmas I remember feeling genuinely sorry for her.

In first grade (and several after that) she was know to get off the bus proclaiming it to be "the best day in her whole life," come into the kitchen, read her chore list, and change her tune to tears, and her proclamation to "this is the WORST day in my whole life!" Despite this, however, her chore-completion record was somehow always better than mine. Just to be fair, I thought I'd better throw that in.

She started planning her own birthday parties at a ridiculously young age, and my poor mother was swept along by the determined, and extremely social tide that was "Annie". These parties were not small affairs. EVERYONE was invited, and there was "itinerary." (Does this surprise anyone who knows her?)

Jr. High. Keeping in mind that I considered being annoyed by Annie a full-time job during this time period (because I was bratty like that), I'll just say a few things. She had a lot of friends (all of whom I found annoying, proving my opinion was tainted), she did some very impressive science fair projects, and she talked so much she developed vocal nodules.

When I was sixteen, and Annie was fourteen, tragedy struck. Our older sister left for college. Up until that point I had always managed to stand/sit/associate with Laura. Now she was gone. There was no one left but Annie. What was a bratty older sister like myself to do?

For a couple of months I moped, and gave no ground. But as most every one knows, there is a HUGE difference between a twelve/thirteen year old girl, and a fourteen year old girl. Think Mia Maid vs. Beehive. It's like a universal truth. At sixteen, even I was forced to (slowly) acknowledge that she wasn't really that annoying. She'd stopped pinching boys' butts, and was actually kind of fun every once in a while. (Probably the same "while's" when I wasn't successfully ignoring her). I was finally forced to admit that Annie wasn't so bad. We started to "hang out." I actually enjoyed having her around. It was crazy.

Eventually, I came to appreciate most all of her finer qualities. That out-going, center-of-attention thing? Kind of nice to have on hand when you go somewhere out of your comfort zone, want to meet people, but don't know how to go about it. Her dorky sense of humor? Well, since mine is frighteningly similar (and almost as dorky), we do tend to "get" each other. The event-planning, jump-in-and-get-it-done (dare I say bossy) side of Annie? Even this has been known to come in handy on several occasions. What can I say? The girl knows how to get things done. She has way more energy than me for making and following through with big plans.

And she has some great embarrassing moments. Like the time she flashed the painter. She's accidentally flashed so many people the girl could be considered an exhibitionist.

She has tons of other talents, and there are countless stories I could tell, but this post is really about her latest project. Her Stupid Twilight T-shirts. She called me last week and forced me to brainstorm some possible slogans. Within a week she had the t-shirt designs ready to go, and a blog up and running.

Amazing. Only Annie would turn a hair brained scheme into a viable fundraising project in under a week. You've got to give the girl credit. And she really does deserve a trip across the country to see her hubby - I mean, she wanted to go bad enough to conceive, plan, carry out this t-shirt thing, right? I say that kind of ingenuity and determination deserves to be rewarded. So (right after you leave me a comment) go visit her Stupid Twilight T-shirt sight, and put in an order. And leave her a comment by your favorite design so she'll know you were there. She really does deserve this one, so let's not let her down!!!


Natalie said...

Awww- you make me wish Brooke had a sister.

Machen Family said...

what a sweet sister you are!

Claire said...

Here's hoping my girls will start to get on better together... though given what I was like as a teenager to my sisters, the outlook's not so good!

What the heck is this twilight thing!? Everyone talks about it. Clearly I need to get a life:)

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hey, you write as well as Annie does. That was awesome.

And hey, did you miss your little award yesterday on my blog? girlfriend, keep up! And go pick it up. Scroll down to Friends, Fans and Followers.

And check out my make-over! I'm a new woman.

Kelly said...

Well, you nailed Annie in a nutshell. I've been to the blog and already spread the word to my book club, one mom said she'd email it on to her teenage daughter and hopefully the word gets around.

I love pink, and I am really not that into Twilight (I like it, read it, but I do not picture my husband as Edward, nor faint, flail, or twitter when I hear his name) so my favorite tee is STUPID VAMPIRE T-SHIRT.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Kelly, for sparing me the embarrassment of admitting that I am not a Twilight fan either. Vampires just don't do it for me. But I will say, I saw Annie's shirt website the day she put it up, and I had to LAUGH. Such a great idea, and she should make millions of dollars in a heart beat. Especially since I linked her site to our YW site! And ALL those girls are vampire fiends!

And...I hate to admit this, too, but....I completely relate to Annie. I'm the youngest of five (two older brothers, two older sisters), but the gap between my sisters and I spans eleven years, so I missed the sibling rivalry with them! I had to fight with my brother instead, and my oldest sister became my Beehive advisor!

Jen said...

Did I mention that I too, am no huge Twilight fan? I've read the first two, I think they're decent books, but no fainting here either. My favorite t-shirt? "I would have picked Jacob." Who'd want cold-wants-to-eat-you Edward, when they could have Jacob?

Annie Valentine said...

Oh my gosh you like me. You really like me! Will you finally start hugging my now?

Secondly, I never said I was a huge Twilight fan (hence the term "stupid"), just very interested in money this month.

Seriously Jenny, I'm totally printing this post off and putting it in a file of "nice things Jenny says about me". I've waited years to start this file...

The RitTerry's! said...

I wish I had a sister like you!! I went to high school with her, and it was nice to get a little "family history".. lol

I'm going to check out her site, and I know of a few Twilight freaks that I'm sure will love the fact I tell them about her page.. So I'm off to do that now!

*MARY* said...

This post almost made me want to write a love email to all 7 of my siblings, almost.
I really want to help Annie out, but I don't wear shirts that often.
But I will let all my twilight fan friends know about it.

Alison Wonderland said...

It's so weird how sisters you hate turn into sister you love.

Been to the site, planning on linking her tonight.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

You're a really good sister. I was the oldest of 3 sisters and spent more time ignoring my sisters than having anything to do with them. I was a baaad sister for sure so I'm spending the rest of my life making up for that. i'll make sure my girl checks out Annie's blog. I already clicked over and the shirts are cute. I've never read Twilight but my daughter is a fan in a big way!

Melissa Bastow said...

You're so nice. It makes me wish my sisters actually liked me. And had cool blogs. And said even cooler stuff about how I'm awesome.

Well, I guess I could write about them being awesome....but it's just not the same.

Oh, and I think I'm getting one of those shirts (right after I lose like 374 pounds of post-baby stomach blubber and can fit into a girly-shaped t-shirt.)

Kimberly said...

I'm suddenly so glad I have two girls. That was a fabulously sweet thing to do!

Claire said...

You've been tagged!

Machen Family said...

Jen, I am so happy that you are a piano teacher! I need to be one of your followers...but I don't have a cute picture to show the world that this is a good or even mediocre representation of "CAMILLE"...I'll just have to be a shadow.